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April 15, 2005

Eric Rudolph: Pro Choice

(Well, can anyone really call him pro life?)

I can't. So maybe it's time to redefine (or refine) some definitions:

Pro Choice: The belief that someone should be allowed to murder someone else, if they choose.

Pro Life: The belief that choosing to murder someone is wrong.

Maybe I'm being simplistic here, but I just ate lunch, and if I try to consider Eric Rudolph pro life, I'm going to toss it.

I enjoyed reading LaShawn Barber's post about it, and can find almost nothing there that I disagree with.

There will always be those who define God in their own image, who pretend that God believes as they do and justifies what they do. Eric Rudolph is no exception. He believed that in waging a one man war against the US Government, he was doing God's work.

He makes me sick.


Posted by mlv at 01:15 PM | Comments (0)

April 06, 2005

Annunciation to the Theotokos

March 25 / April 7, Annunciation to the Theotokos

Dismissal Hymn

Today is the fountainhead of our salvation and the manifestation of the mystery which was from eternity. The Son of God becometh the Virgin's Son and Gabriel announceth the good tidings of grace; for this cause, let us cry to the Mother of God with him: Rejoice, thou who art full of grace, the Lord is with thee.

Kontakion. The Original Melody

When the bodiless one learned the secret command, in haste he came and stood before Joseph's dwelling, and spake unto the Maiden who knew not wedlock: The One Who hath bowed the Heavens by His descent is held and contained unchanging wholly in thee. Seeing Him receiving the form of a servant in thy womb, I stand in awe and cry to thee: Rejoice, thou Bride unwedded.

Icon courtesy of Holy Transfiguration Monastery

Posted by mlv at 11:17 PM | Comments (0)

April 05, 2005

A good read

I don't agree with the conclusion (she's not against gay marriage (although she's not for it, either), and I am), but Jane Galt's A really, really, really long post about gay marriage that does not, in the end, support one side or the other is well worth a read.

She goes into the history of various social (and economic) changes in this country that can be considered (at least by me) to have been mistakes. One of the fundamental points she makes regards the "marginal case":

Now, economists hear this sort of argument all the time. "That's ridiculous! I would never start working fewer hours because my taxes went up!" This ignores the fact that you may not be the marginal case. The marginal case may be some consultant who just can't justify sacrificing valuable leisure for a new project when he's only making 60 cents on the dollar. The result will nonetheless be the same: less economic activity. Similarly, you--highly educated, firmly socialised, upper middle class you--may not be the marginal marriage candidate; it may be some high school dropout in Tuscaloosa. That doesn't mean that the institution of marriage won't be weakened in America just the same.

To bring an example from a different topic, partial birth abortions (where a baby, in the process of being born (breech -- feet first), has it's brains sucked out a tube while the head is still inside the mother (apologies if you were eating lunch; it disgusts me too). The pols who wanted the ban to include the clause "except for the health of the mother" are comfortable in their position that it'll never be used except in the extreme cases. But you start with the marginal cases where the mother would be very sick then it becomes a little more socially acceptable, and then you have the "there's a slight risk of something", and end up with "let's abort the baby because dad lost his job."

But anyway, give it a read. It's worth it.


Posted by mlv at 02:05 PM | Comments (0)

April 04, 2005

Hating sin at Jackson's Junction

I'm getting very impressed these days with what's coming out of Jackson's Junction. For some time, it's been a good site for viewing television clips that I can't otherwise see (I don't subscribe to any standard cable service -- too much trash that I don't want coming into my house. And if I could get one of these devices to be configurable to filter out other stations, I'd be a happy camper. But I digress).

Anyway, after they added Dirty Harry, there have been some very good articles coming from there. The latest one is well worth a read.


Posted by mlv at 02:34 PM | Comments (0)

April 03, 2005

Well, you put it THAT way...

Turns out, if you ask the right questions, you get a more reasonable answer. BlogsForTerri posted (as did others) that a new Zogby poll (with questions that more accurately reflected Terri's state (even dodging the "Persistent Vegitative State" or not question) shows a lot more support for Terri to stay alive.

"If a disabled person is not terminally ill, not in a coma, and not being kept alive on life support, and they have no written directive, should or should they not be denied food and water," the poll asked.

A whopping 79 percent said the patient should not have food and water taken away while just 9 percent said yes.

Compare that with this ABC News Poll. If you look at the PDF, you'll see the way they phrased the question:

41. As you may know, a woman in Florida named Terri Schiavo suffered brain damage and has been on life support for 15 years. Doctors say she has no consciousness and her condition is irreversible. Her parents and her husband disagree on whether or not she should be kept on life support. In cases like this who do you think should have final say, (the parents) or (the spouse)?

Not surprisingly, when they throw in phrases like "life support" (that conjur up images of big machines that go "ping"), they got radically different answers.

Imagine what results they would have had if they said that she was conscious and aware of her surroundings.


Posted by mlv at 11:19 PM | Comments (0)

April 02, 2005

Sunday of the Cross

Save, O Lord, Thy people, and bless Thine inheritance. Grant Thou unto the faithful victory over adversaries, and by the power of Thy Cross, do Thou preserve Thy commonwealth.
-- Troparion for the third Sunday of Great Lent, the Sunday of the Cross.

On a personal note, it was 10 years ago today (this Sunday in Lent) that I was baptised.


Posted by mlv at 10:30 PM | Comments (4)


I've just added categories to the blog, so thought some description might be in order:

General: Anything that doesn't quite fit in other categories, or blog-related posts (this one, for example :).

Political: Anything that relates to our leaders in Washington DC (or Beacon Hill, or wherever they may fester).

Social: Anything pertaining to (what I think are) the important social issues of our day. Obviously, there will be those that fall into more than one category (my post on the recent efforts by the Massachusetts legislature to allow cloning, for example). When that happens, I'll put it in both categories.

Spiritual: I post things that are interesting or important to me. This includes the occasional passage from Church fathers, or maybe something relevant to a church feast. There won't be a lot of these, though.


Posted by mlv at 10:22 PM | Comments (0)

Rest in peace, John Paul II

As you've probably heard, Pope John Paul II has reposed. It's been expected for some time now, and the end is, in this case, more of a relief than a shock. William F. Buckley had a gold column about him a couple months ago, and a prayer that was answered today.

The blogosphere has it well covered, of course, as does the MSM. Power Line Blog has a funny oversight by the NYT (that they have since corrected, although when I first looked, it was still there).

At this point, I just hope the cardinals elect someone of like mind with him. But for that, we'll have to wait for the white smoke.


Posted by mlv at 05:10 PM | Comments (0)

April 01, 2005

Parenting website under attack

A government website, 4parents.gov is under attack by liberal activist groups. Why? Because it promotes absinence instead of birth control.

HHS officials said Thursday evening they were not surprised certain groups disliked the site.

“They’ve always opposed us on the issue of abstinence. That’s fine,” HHS spokesman Bill Pierce said. “One thing we do know about abstinence is that if you practice it, you will not have an unintended pregnancy or risk catching a sexually transmitted disease.”

I just browsed the site and it looks very good. If you have kids (especially teenagers), definitely check it out while it's still here.


Posted by mlv at 01:20 PM | Comments (0)

Massachusetts set to allow cloning

Yesterday, the Massachusetts senate voted to allow "theraputic cloning" for stem cell research. Today the house voted to allow it. Governor Romney has promised to veto, but they'll probably override it.

As I understand it, theraputic cloning is where you put someone's DNA in a fertilized egg, let it develop enough to create some stem cells, then insert them back into the DNA donor to (possibly) cure whatever problem they had.

One editorial claimed that Gov. Romney who apparently supports stem cell research using fetuses left over from in vitro fertilization is being hypocritical. I don't think so. I think that simply, if you (begrudgingly?) accept in vitro fertilization, then using fetuses from there is a better use for them than just throwing them away.

But I can't say that, given what it entails, I'm all that thrilled with in vitro fertilization. You create tens or hundreds of babies in the hopes that one of them might implant in a womb, then incinerate the rest? Yeek...

But what this points out is the real danger of this bill; not in what it's allowing now (which I don't like in itself), but the mentality of "Since we're already doing xxx, why can't we just go one step further and do yyy." We already have a factory assembly line creating fetuses for couples who want to be pregnant, now let's just slip someone's DNA in there to maybe cure diabetes or whatever else ails them. Then some years from now someone's going to say, "We already do cloning for theraputic (stem cell) purposes, why not carry one of these to term so they can donate a kidney." What's next? Designer babies? ("A doctor was slapped with a malpractice suit after a baby he promised would have blonde hair and blue eyes turned out to have brown hair and eyes.")

And just for the record, I myself am diabetic. It's possible I'll benefit some day from stem cell research. But, I promise you, not if it involves cloning. I will never want someone else's life (even if it is "just a fetus") sacrificed for my own.


Posted by mlv at 12:02 AM | Comments (0)